The country’s best agriculture and environment journalists of the year will be known in fitting ceremonies on December 2, 2014, during the PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards, 7 pm, at Diamond Hotel, Manila.

President Benigno S. Aquino III is invited to grace the occasion that honors the continuing efforts of print and broadcast journalists for their reportage on the major developments and issues in the country’s agriculture, fisheries, environment, food and agribusiness sectors.

The Philippine Agricultural Journalists, Inc. (PAJ) has been conducting the Binhi Awards for agricultural journalism since 1978, in partnership with various sponsors, which this year is led by San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

“We are proud to stage once again the Binhi Awards as our tribute to our colleagues covering the agriculture, environment and agrarian reform beats, including the efforts of writers, editors and broadcast journalists for their respective reportage, agricultural publications, radio and television programs, and information campaign,” said PAJ President and Philippine Star business editor Roman Floresca.

“We are privileged to have SMC as our title sponsor this year, and we sincerely thank Mr. Ramon S. Ang for his support and generosity, as we were able to expand the contest and offer bigger prizes,” added Floresca, who designated Noel Reyes, PAJ vice president for internal affairs, as Binhi Awards committee chairman.

The 2014 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards attracted more than 100 contestants composed of  reporters and correspondents covering the DA and DENR beats, and writers and editors of major national publications in Metro Manila, Central and Southern Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and government agencies like the DA, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Bureau of Agricultural Research, and Philippine Carabao Center.

The contestants vied for 14 categories, featuring three major ones: agricultural journalist, agribeat reporter and environment journalist of the year, where the top three winners will receive P50,000, P30,000 and P20,000 and a trophy, respectively.

The other five individual categories are agri news story, agri feature story, environment story, agri broadcaster, and agri photo journalist; and seven institutional categories —  agri section of a national newspaper, agricultural magazine, newsletter, television, radio program, and info/media campaign. The winner will receive P20,000 and a trophy.

This year’s five-man board of judges is chaired by former Agriculture Secretary Senen C. Bacani, chairman and president of La Frutera, Inc. The other judges are: Mary Jane Oconer Llanes, AVP- SMC Media Affairs Group; Leo A. Deocadiz, editor-publisher of ‘The Sun Hong Kong’; Gene Hettel, senior science editor and historian, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); and Gani Oro, anchorman of ‘Serbisyo All Access,’ 9 NEWS TV (Solar TV).

They evaluated and rated entries of contestants, whose works were published or aired during the one-year contest period, from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.

The awarding ceremonies will also feature inspirational messages from key personalities that include SMC President and COO Ramon S. Ang, Senator Cynthia Villar, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala, and former DA Secretaries Senen Bacani and William Dar.

The 2014 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards is also sponsored by Bayer Philippines, SL Agritech Corp., Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp., and Phil Ass’n of Flour Millers, Inc. ### (PAJ)